Last week I had to remind myself again. It seems a weekly occurrence for this thick-skulled writer.

Don’t get stuck on the missing details.

This is the first draft. I am building the skeleton around the heart. The sinew and other organs can be added later. It is not going to be a complete, fully-functioning work on the first pass-through. I am not that writer. Do I look like S.E. Hinton? No.

Write what you know now. The rest will come.

As I am writing each scene, more snapshots of future scenes and future moments in this scene reveal themselves. Maybe that’s why it takes three hours to write one scene. 🙂 (How many hours to write my first draft?)

I already know some written scenes will not be in the final manuscript. And I know some that will likely be combined. But that’s good. Some scenes are only meant for the writer: to deepen my understanding. They feed the story. They feed the writer. They are the pieces digested and turned into bone and muscle.

It will all come together: after the 4th, 5th, 6th….17th, 23rd, 31st draft. 🙂 I am a builder, a laborer. Not a finger-snapping magic wielder. I have the privilege of being a sojourner in my characters’ land, and I want to experience each scrape, each slide, each fight.

I love it! 🙂

This first draft. It will be a gruesome thing to behold: flesh here and there, bones exposed, fractures, organ pieces pulsing. But that heart will be beating.

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6 Minutes

When I’m at work, I focus on work. When I’m home, I focus on writing. I was following this pattern on Tuesday morning at work. Problems were being solved. But, more than I realized.

When I reached for a drink of water, I found another part of my brain was still concentrated. I could feel it straining. I was confused. What problem was I trying to solve now? I was in between work problems. Oh well, drink over – on to the next work problem.

A couple hours later, as I walked toward the restrooms, I felt it again. What was this pressure? Was I forgetting an important task? It was bothering me now. Still, I ignored it when I arrived back at my desk. I had work problems to solve, goals to achieve. If it was a work task I had forgotten about, I would remember when it was ready to share with me.

Lunch time. I walked to the kitchen. The concentration continued. I felt it as soon as I set my work aside. And then an idea was thrown to the center stage of my mind.

It was a potential answer – not one I would accept, but it might lead to a viable option – to a question I had asked myself the night before:

Where was He heading?

More like a series of questions. What was my ending? I had one previously, but things had changed. Before I started the middle segment of the book, I needed to reaffirm and re-alize my ending.

It hit me in a rapid, multi-crash wave. My subconscious mind was working on my novel problem while my conscious mind focused on my work problems.

Throughout the afternoon, every time I reached for my water, I felt that pressure. But now I smiled. I let my subconscious mind work on my novel while I did my job. I accomplished my goal for the work day, working toward the two week goal.

I called my grandmother on my drive home and spoke with her briefly. After we hung up, the snapshots of multiple scenes came fast and vibrant. I had my ending. I knew where he was going. I was elated. My subconscious had answered the question. (Our brains truly are incredible.)

I glanced at the clock after I parked the car. 6 Minutes. It had only been 6 minutes since I hung up with my grandmother.

I replayed and developed the snapshot scenes as I walked up to my 3rd floor apartment with a smile on my face. I fed my cat (crazy cat lady, yes), and then sat down and wrote for an hour and a half, before taking a break to feed myself.

I feel so blessed to experience this discovery – to create.



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Is your self-esteem attached

To what you have

Or who you are?

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Surprised Again


I thought I knew who she would see, but suddenly it was not. It was someone new. This added a whole new dynamic.

Sometimes writing is like unveiling a painting of many colors. Each addition is a new color unlocked. It stretches from its initial discovery, and I gaze in wonder at all the places it fills and the colors it blends with – completing the painting that much further.

And, speaking of color, I am so ready for spring.

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Innocence to Import

I surpassed my writing quota yesterday, which was great, as I undershot the day before that. Sitting down to write continuously – rather than jotting down notes or writing different scenes (of which I have pages filled) – never fails to remind me just how little those filled pages are compared the enormity and complexity of the story. I see all the white spots – all the Unknown. It’s exciting, but daunting, if one dwells. But then, that’s only if I look at all the work yet to be done as if I needed to do it in one day. Instead of seeing it for what it is: a wonder-filled journey of discovery. Every day filled with possibilities.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon something unexpected. Nothing monumental, but still a mystery and a thrill. You see, I knew this place existed – had known for a few days about this one place in particular. But I did not know the main character actually entered. Once she did, I was perplexed. Now, what would she be doing in here? What could she be after? Confused, though I was, I continued writing. And then, there she stood: a new character. Again, nothing huge. Just a moment in Main’s life. I admit, I was curious about this new woman. Writing the exchange, I could see purpose in it, but nothing Main would not store deep in a closet of memory, probably never to open again. And then it happened. One line and the atmosphere changed. It was no longer merely an innocent, every-day (or, every other day) exchange. Suddenly, it was personal.

One thing I was fairly certain of: Main would remember this woman. This was a moment to remember, and someone to wonder about, here and there, over the years.

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Genius is the gold in the mine;

Talent is the miner that

Works and brings it out.

– Lady Marguerite Blessington

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The true way of softening one’s troubles
Is to solace those of others.
– Madame de Maintenon

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